Education

Lab-working

ATMS awardee Vardo Mckenzie interning at Kennedy Space Center

Education is a vital component of Bahamas Marine EcoCentre. Our goal is to promote ocean literacy, i.e. an understanding of the ocean’s influence on man and man’s influence on the ocean. Covering most of the planet, the ocean regulates weather and climate, provides critical oxygen, and feeds much of the human population. Climate change, ocean acidification, and overfishing are some of the pressing issues involving our marine environment that challenge the future health of our planet.

Alf Thompson Memorial Scholarship (ATMS)

One of the highlights of BME’s educational programme is The Alf Thompson Memorial Scholarship (ATMS). This annual scholarship provides internship opportunities for Bahamian students and early career scientists to experience hands-on research using state-of-the-art techniques. The expectation is that the internship experience will motivate students to further their studies and ultimately pursue careers in the field of science.

ATMS awardee Chris Fergusson tagging sharks at the Bimini Biological Field Station

ATMS was initiated in 2011 to honor the passing of Alf Thompson, a Bahamian trained in engineering and the sciences. In the first two years, the award enabled three Bahamian students to participate in summer internships at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. Subsequently, scholarship recipients interned at the Bimini Biological Field Station, where the focus is shark research, including population demographics and dynamics, molecular and behavioral ecology, bioenergetics, sensory biology and physiology. Awards are made annually in the spring; applications (available early in the New Year) can be downloaded here: 2017 ATMS application package.

DATEATMS RECIPIENTINTERSHIP LOCATION
2016Bianca Barone, Nassau
Jewel Thompson, Nassau
Bimini Biological Field Station, Bimini, Bahamas
2015Tyler Knowles, Long Island
Gisselle Deane, Nassau
Bimini Biological Field Station, Bimini, Bahamas
2014Fran Rahming, Freeport
Brynton Johnson, Nassau
Luke Johnson, Freeport
Bimini Biological Field Station, Bimini, Bahamas
2013Vanielle Rabier, Nassau
Chris Ferguson, Nassau
Bimini Biological Field Station, Bimini, Bahamas
2012Justin Lockhart, Nassau
Oliver Lundy, Nassau
NASA, Kennedy Space Center, FL
2011Lavardo Mckenzie, Barretarre ExumaNASA, Kennedy Space Center, FL

Jewel Thompson and Bianca Barone

Other Activities

Bahamas Marine EcoCentre is committed to expanding educational opportunities for students at all levels, from primary school to graduate studies. Activities aimed at promoting an understanding of marine ecosystems range from summer camps which introduce local youth to marine flora and fauna, to seminars and courses for local and international students.
Initial education efforts by BME involved development of the Young Bahamian Marine Scientists programme (YBMS). YBMS has since evolved into an independent organization known as Young Marne Explorers (YME).

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BME is committed to expanding educational opportunities for students at all levels, from primary school to graduate studies.

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